Home/ Politics / News/  5 global crises that will keep you on edge this year

After a turbulent 2022, the world is heading into another year of multiple disruptions, apart from an economic slowdown. Mint breaks down five crises, some old and others new, to watch out for in the months ahead.

What risks might the war in Ukraine bring?

The Ukraine war may continue well into 2023 and poses a few key threats. President Zelensky’s troops will press their offensive against Russians on Ukrainian soil. An attack on Moscow-held territories like Crimea may push Ukraine and its backers to a catastrophic conflict with Russia. The possibility of further Russian defeats may trigger another round of nuclear threats from Moscow. Another concern is the staggering financial cost of rebuilding Ukraine and addressing its refugee crisis. With the bill running into hundreds of billions, it is clear that the country, and its backers, have a mountain to climb in 2023.

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How about the Afghan humanitarian crisis?

The shock surrounding the Ukraine war has knocked Afghanistan down on the list of global priorities. Yet, the scale of its crisis is staggering. 3.5 million Afghans have been displaced and 24 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. The country has also been hit by droughts and earthquakes. The Taliban has added to the problem with draconian social codes that have shut access to higher education for women and have reinstated floggings and public executions. For India, a regular aid donor, the prospect of increased instability in its strategic backyard will be of concern.

Will the developed world’s recession impact us all?

The chief of IMF has indicated that much of the eurozone will be headed for recession, partly as a result of a crippling cost of living crisis induced by Russia’s energy war. Growth in the US will also be muted in 2023. This slowdown may have significant consequences for India, which was counting on strong demand from developed markets for its export growth.

Will Taiwan become a flashpoint in 2023?

In 2022, Beijing launched a series of provocative military exercises across the Taiwan straits. Taiwan also played host to US speaker Nancy Pelosi in August, triggering more Chinese intimidation. Neither Taipei, nor its backers in Washington, wish to fight Beijing. China, which is grappling with a devastating covid-19 wave, has its own reasons for avoiding conflict. The US announced billions in military aid to Taipei, and China responded by sending its fighter jets into Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone.

How will the US-China tech war shape up?

Washington unveiled sweeping curbs on advanced technology exports to Chinese companies in October. Its intention, experts felt, was to cripple China’s formidable technology sector and preserve America’s edge. The US will try to enlist Japan and the Netherlands to its export control regime next year. Should they succeed, it would represent the most concrete effort to decouple the US and Chinese economies. While Beijing has not retaliated yet, Washington’s no-hold-barred attempt to stunt its tech sector may spark a response.

Elsewhere in Mint

In Mint Special '2023: The Moderation Redux', Janet Yellen tells why the US won't chase the cheapest supply chains. Di Guo & Chenggang Xu argue that the Soviet endgame threatens to scuttle China's economy. Jose Antonio Ocampo says after covid-19, a pandemic of debt is rocking the world. Will the central banks do what it takes? Carmen M. Reinhart asks.

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Updated: 02 Jan 2023, 09:57 AM IST
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